Facebook enters the mobile gaming market with “Instant Games”

Facebook  messenger just launched ‘Instant games’ where players can instantly play mobile games on their phone without a single download. Powered by HTML5, Facebook has introduced another platform where players can bypass the Apple and Android Store to play, and play immediately with their friends.  Hence the ‘Instant’ in Instant Games.

Facebook Gaming History

Facebook was a major player in gaming in 2008 when their desktop platform was reaching a quarter billion dollars in revenue on a quarterly basis. Although still experiencing revenue, their platform hasn’t experienced growth in a couple of years and their demise has been directly linked to the limitations of flash and html (at that time) technology leaving users wanting a better gameplay experience.  Enter Apple and Google (Android) app store and Facebook was made irrelevant pretty quickly.

In 2011, Facebook attempted to enter the mobile gaming market with project Spartan, as they realized that players were shifting to the Smartphone for the casual game play experience.  This project was unfortunately shut down due to reasons unknown but not without a silver lining.  Facebook actually tested the Messenger game potential with its own basketball shoot out app that was played over 1.2 billion times and they knew that their users will play their games, if they offered it.

Facebook Instant games is Facebooks second attempt at providing users a high end, multiplayer experience to facebook messenger users as they look to take advantages of the great strides HTML5 has made the last 5 years.  Along with by passing the Android and Apple 30% revenue share crux,  Facebook is one of the head runners in utilizing the HTML5 Technology.

Facebook isn’t the only company attempting this feat, as 2017 is looking to be the year where developers and publishers look to pivot towards HTML5 technology and disrupt the current gaming eco system.

Lets take a look at a couple of 3 companies that are adopting this strategy for 2017 as well:
GoGame (www.gogame.com):  Funded by Sega, GoGame is a Singapore based publishing company that utilizes this HTML5 technology, where they look to enter the Publishing field allowing users to actually play the game before downloading versus the current Content marketing system, displaying interstatials or fancy Video ads to obtain users to their game.

Wixcorp:  (
https://www.wizcorp.jp/)  A Japan based company, that fully specializes in Node Js and HTML5.  They managed to port the famous Dofus mmorpg (A Flash based game) to Html5 and  currently released ‘Dofus Touch’ on the App store with an extremely low package size, but with higher fidelity.

Rakuten has recently announced their own Html5 / smartphone based mobile platform, and yahoo is not too far behind. Read here for more information.

Facebook Intant game is doing something interesting but they aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this growing technology.  It’ll be very interesting how this plays out.



  • 15+ year mobile application industry veteran, probably product managing multiple apps. If he's not busy running this website, you can probably find him at the gym shooting half court shots, while playing the latest mobile rpg game.

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